Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Achieving accurate and valid dietary assessment for implementing precsion prevention

Combine objective measures and biomarkers of dietary intake to identify dietary deficiencies/excesses that contribute to risk for cardiometabolic diseases. Technological, statistical and methodological advances in diet assessment are increasingly making it possible to identify the nutrients/phytochemicals/ that contribute to risk factor development in individuals and populations. Interdisciplinary studies are needed to ...more »

Submitted by (@lvanhorn)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

There is no longer any question that diet, food, eating patterns and overall nutritional status influence health and risk of disease. Over the past fifty years the field of nutrition has grown and become increasingly evidence-based as illustrated by the important work of the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees that are convened every five years to review the new and expanding data relevant to public health. Despite tremendous advances, the field remains handicapped by the absence of accurate objective diet assessment methods that could enhance the recognized limitations and flaws in the existing system. Studies that rely on self-reported recall of dietary intake are inherently limited by cognitive ability, memory, honesty and capacity to provide the details needed to accurately portray a persons nutritional intake. Advances in technology that include metabolomics and other omics, refinements in biomarker measurement and statistical advances such as principal component analyses have been helpful, but most existing studies are limited to one or two of these options, using flawed diet assessment methods and very few days of dietary intake that do not do justice to accurate reflection of nutritional status. Comprehensive studies are needed to combine the available methods and develop approaches that can more precisely identify the relevant factors and thus offer opportunities for improvement.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Successful accomplishment of this challenge will ideally involve Big Data approaches. We are now aware of hundreds of nutrients, micronutrients, phytochemicals and the foods, food groups, eating patterns and environmental factors that all likely contribute to health or risk for disease.

Team science involving nutritionists, biostatisticians, chemists, IT specialists, bioinformatiticians , agricultural specialists, just to name a few will be needed to clearly lay out the key factors and design appropriate approaches to develop the appropriate studies, methodologies and analyses that can address these questions. The time has come!

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Building Effective Interventions for Heart-Healthy Eating

What translational science approaches are best able to test individual, community, and environmental approaches for increasing adherence to heart-healthy dietary recommendations, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet? What are the most effective types of interventions (e.g., personal coaching, print material, interactive internet content, faith-based community programs, campaigns) and tools ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

This information will inform intervention, education, and outreach efforts and ultimately result in reduced CVD risk.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Similar studies have been done in this time frame.

There is strong evidence, based on controlled feeding studies, that DASH-style eating patterns can lower blood pressure and improve blood lipids, and thus reduce risk for CVD. Yet, very few individuals regularly follow DASH.

 

Enabling resource needs.is a challenge in addressing this CQ.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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9 net votes
18 up votes
9 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

The missing ingredient in diet and cardiovascular disease prevention research

Determining the dietary patterns and dietary constituents that are most effective in preventing cardiovascular disease events. In addition to the obvious challenge of limited resources, the challenge is overcoming the tension between desire for comparable data produced from low-cost tools and need for higher quality data. Many studies continue using low-cost self-reported diet assessment instruments that produce data ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Addressing the challenge of a dietary assessment method that harnesses recent technological advances in novel biomarker assessments and in metabolomics and microbiome research with best practices in self-reported assessment instruments would enable a giant leap forward in nutrition and cardiovascular disease prevention research. Self-reported instruments require repeated measurements which are expensive or are instruments hampered by measurement error that attenuates estimates of the diet-disease association. Progress on this critical challenge would enable research questions to be addressed using more accurate methods, including questions that ask about best overall diet pattern to prevent cardiovascular disease as well as questions targeted to specific nutrients or diet constituents. Overcoming this obstacle would enable research to move forward in population science research where knowledge of the diet of free-living individuals or community populations is needed as well as among patients in clinical research (other than expensive feeding trials where exact diet is known). There is great potential in stored specimens from epidemiology cohorts and clinical trials to be used with new biomarker assessments to associate earlier diet with hard outcomes accrued in these studies.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Advances in microbiome research and metabolomics technologies illustrate that progress in the field of biomarker assessments of dietary status is not only feasible but may sharpen our understanding of the relationship of dietary constituents with HLB disease pathologies. In the field of energy balance measurement there are calls for movement away from self-reported diet measures and for researchers and sponsors to focus development on objective measures (http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/vaop/naam/abs/ijo2014199a.html ). Leadership from NHLBI in this area can move the field forward in validating tools and making them more cost effective.

“You are what you eat” is a familiar aphorism, but research progress on what dietary patterns and dietary constituents are most effective in preventing cardiovascular disease events is impeded by inadequate dietary assessment tools. This critical challenge calls for a major effort, in collaboration with other ICs, to develop methods and innovations in measures using blood, urine, feces, saliva, or other bodily fluids or tissues. These tools eventually need to be cost effective, valid, and reproducible.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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31 up votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

What causes the structural abnormalities that cause sleep apnea, and how can they be prevented?

It is estimated that up to 28% of the population suffer from sleep apnea, which impairs functioning and reduces quality of life, while increasing risk of accidents and a variety of cardiovascular, metabolic, and neuropsychiatric diseases. A large portion of sleep apnea cases are caused by abnormal oro-nasal-maxillo-mandibular features that result in crowding of the upper airway, making it vulnerable to collapsing or ...more »

Submitted by (@bmdixon)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common condition, which causes chronic fatigue and daytime sleepiness, as well as cognitive impairments affecting learning, concentration, and memory. Over the long term, it increases many health risks, including accidents, cardiovascular disease, and depression. OSA is characterized by partial, or complete, blockage of the airway during sleep, so that breathing repeatedly pauses or airflow is limited, causing repeated arousals from sleep. It is usually secondary to a narrow, or collapsible, airway due to either 1) obesity or overweight, or 2) abnormal morphology of the mandible or maxilla bones, which crowds facial structures, such as the tongue and nose, narrowing the pharynx. The causes of obesity are already being well studied, but there is relatively little research on the etiology of the structural abnormalities involved in OSA. Abnormalities of facial structure are widespread in the population causing, not only OSA, but also orthodontic problems that require many to get braces or have wisdom teeth extracted, and widespread temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems. However, multiple studies have documented that these abnormalities are almost completely absent from populations living a preindustrial, agrarian or forager, lifestyle, making them a “disease of civilization”. In particular, the abnormalities are associated with consumption of a modern diet of processed foods during prenatal, infant, and early childhood development.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Current evidence implicates three factors in the development of these structural abnormalities: prenatal maternal nutrition (especially vitamin K2 status), breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding, and frequency of consumption of tough foods after weaning (which provides exercise to the jaw). We need to form a large cohort and study orthodontic development prospectively from fetal development through mid-childhood, with data on diet, feeding practices, and physiological measures of nutrient status. Measurement methods are available using existing technologies to collect the necessary data on each of these measures. Determining the causes responsible for these structural abnormalities will enable further research to demonstrate effective methods of preventing them. Given that many patients with OSA are rendered so miserable by it that they undergo maxillomandibular advancement surgery to correct it, an expensive procedure with a lengthy recovery period, prevention would be a far better solution. This research will move us a big step closer to a future without sleep apnea and its formidable collection of negative effects on health and functioning.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Bonnie Dixon

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6 net votes
44 up votes
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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Prevention of Obesity

What are the behavioral factors that predispose to excessive weight gain and development of obesity? And, which intervention strategies can effectively prevent excessive weight gain and obesity? NHLBI, other NIH institutes and the society at-large have invested heavily in research and clinical practice aimed at treatment of obesity (i.e, weight loss in those who are already overweight). However, much less research ...more »

Submitted by (@rpate0)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Reducing the prevalence of obesity is one of the great public health challenges of the 21st century. Research should be focused, first and foremost, on prevention, not treatment, of this problem. It seems highly likely that improving the behaviors that can prevent obesity would produce a wide range of important public health benefits.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Two generations ago the prevalence of obesity was much lower than it is today. The prevalence was lower then, not because overweight people were better at losing weight; rather rates were lower because far fewer people became overweight in the first place. It is high time that the scientific community, clinicians, and public health practitioners invested their efforts in prevention first, where there is every reason to believe we could be successful. These efforts should be informed by a robust body of knowledge, and it is recommended that NHLBI lead the effort to expand the body of knowledge on primary prevention of obesity.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Russell Pate

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Need to Determine the Basis for Difference in Response to Weight Management Approaches

Why does the response to weight loss regimen in terms of weight loss and its sustainability, and improvement in health outcomes vary considerably?

Submitted by (@mturner)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Past research focused on using variations of diet and exercise has revealed important information about the health benefits of weight loss. The limitations of such approaches in producing biologically meaningful and sustained weight loss for the majority have also been recognized. Even within a study population, compliance to weight loss regimen, weight loss and its sustainability, and improvement in health outcomes vary considerably. Research is needed to identify the basis for this variation, which may lead to enhanced outcome and applicability of such approaches.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Identifying factors that enhance weight management response may lead to translational studies that yield more effective results. A strong support of promising clinical translational research may promote a conducive environment for developing more practical applications.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : The Obesity Society

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8 net votes
14 up votes
6 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Is heart failure reversible by diet and lifestyle changes?

Once heart failure has developed, can diet and exercise measures work to reverse it?

 

Well-designed clinical trials are needed to answer this question.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

There is no known therapy that can reverse heart failure. Drug and device treatments may slow progress but not a cure. If diet and lifestyle changes could reverse heart failure, even if just in segments of the heart failure population, it would be a tremendous impact in saving lives and would have a great fiscal impact as well.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Innovative dietary and lifestyle intervention studies could be done cheaply and efficiently.

There is low impact, mostly anecdotal evidence that heart failure (HF) is reversible through diet and exercise, but no higher level research has investigated this question. It is an accepted notion that healthy diet and exercise can prevent cardiovascular diseases. Obesity, diabetes and coronary artery disease are strong risk factors for HF. Accordingly, a high portion of HF patients has ischemic etiology, is obese and/or diabetic. Diet and lifestyle interventions could beneficially influence these comorbidities and might reverse HF.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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6 net votes
34 up votes
28 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Additional research needed to identify various contributors of obesity

What are the specific contributors of obesity that lead to chronic positive energy balance and surplus energy storage?

Submitted by (@mturner)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Obesity is a health crisis of epic proportions. About 34% of adults in the US have obesity, up from 31 % in 1999 and about 15% in the years 1960 to 1980. The chronic diseases that result from obesity annually cost over $150 billion in weight-related medical bills. Reduction of obesity improves cardiovascular and other health outcomes, yet what is currently known about obesity is inadequate to combat the global obesity epidemic. A comprehensive understanding about the mechanics of obesity may help in developing more effective preventive and treatment strategies, which in turn will substantially improve cardiovascular and other health measures.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Years of obesity research have revealed the complex nature of this disease and its multi-factorial etiology. While research has firmly established the role of energy balance in weight gain and weight loss, it is important to discover upstream factors that predispose only certain individuals to energy imbalance. This may be addressed by further focusing on newly identified putative contributors of obesity, including but not limited to the impact of sleep deprivation, ambient temperature, age at first pregnancy, intrauterine and intergenerational factors, neuro-endocrine factors, epigenetics, environmental chemicals and endocrine disruptors, gut microbes, infections and the immune system, and social and behavioral factors associated with obesogenic behaviors. These studies may provide mechanistic insight that may also lead to the development of new pharmacological approaches. It is possible that cause-specific prevention or treatment approaches may yield more effective results than generic approaches that do not necessarily consider upstream modulators of energy imbalance, or inter-individual differences.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : The Obesity Society

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8 net votes
18 up votes
10 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Dietary nitrates and the enterosalivary nitrate cycle

Are dietary fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy greens, protective against cardiovascular disease due to their ability to increase bioavailability of nitric oxide?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Understanding the biological rationale behind the benefit of a particular dietary component that promotes CV health will substantiate public health recommendations about diet.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Our understanding of the nitrate/nitrite cycle and of cardiovascular activity of nitric oxide has advanced rapidly in the past 10-15 years. The time is ripe for linking these advances in the science of nitrates to the consequences of dietary nitrate.

The role of dietary fruits and vegetables in the protection against cardiovascular disease is supported by many studies, especially leafy green vegetables. However, identification of the component of fruits and vegetables affording this protection has been elusive. Recent discoveries about the ability of the body to cycle dietary nitrates to produce bioactive nitric oxide via the enterosalivary cycle and lingual microbiome lends strength to the argument that leafy green vegetables may be protective due to their high nitrate content. This possibility should be examined in both large cohort studies and in clinical series. Would be helpful for the USDA to add nitrates to their standard database of food nutrients. NHLBI needs to partner with NCI to coordinate with ongoing research about the potential nitrosylation of dietary nitrites to carcinogenic n-nitrosamines in the setting of low antioxidant intake.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Diet and prevention of cardiovascular events

In the US, what kind of diet(s) is/are best for preventing hard cardiovascular events?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Provide an evidence base for public policy on diet.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The Spaniards have shown that this kind of trial is possible. We have tools and interest in place for pragmatic trials.

 

The PREDIMED trial (done in Spain) randomized ~7000 adults and found that a diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts reduced cardiovascular events compared to a "low-fat" diet. However, in Spain the Mediterranean diet is arguably the norm.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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20 up votes
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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Reduce burden of vascular disease

How can we reduce the burden of vascular disease by promoting healthy lifestyle including diet, exercise, and smoking cessation?

Submitted by (@societyforvascularsurgery)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

­Conduct community level and scale studies in higher risk populations, identify effective tools to achieve healthy lifestyle and prevent or retard the progression of vascular disease. Determine which interventions work.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Society for Vascular Surgery

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

What is the role of diet and nutrition in treatment, management and prevention of Heart Failure?

Heart Failure (HF) remains a major public health burden. A working group was convened by NHLBI and ODS in June, 2013 to address the role of diet and nutrition in management of HF. A review of existing evidence produced no clear rationale for appropriate dietary interventions. On the contrary, the group developed recommendations for conducting additional research specifically on the role of sodium, fluid, nutrients, and ...more »

Submitted by (@lvanhorn)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

As summarized following the Working Group meeting,compared with the situation for cardiovascular risk factor management, there is little well-founded evidence regarding the efficacy, safety, and clinical impact of dietary modifications for patients with various HF phenotypes. The importance of diet and nutrition to promote health and prevent or control disease is well established. Research on obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular disease have contributed to the development of nutritional guidelines to prevent these disease in the general population but efforts to determine nutritional needs for the patient with HF lack high caliber evidence regarding safety, efficacy, and clinical impact of dietary modifications. The stronger evidence and focus on disease prevention and health promotion with diet modifications like DASH cannot be easily applied or extrapolated for disease management, especially HF, because of critical knowledge gaps and potential harm. Research on HF has more recently identified and differentiated medical treatment and interventions appropriate for HF with or without preserved ejection fractions. This only adds to the questions surrounding diet and nutritional approaches to help reduce and prevent HF readmissions.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Chronic HF often presents as a multisystem disease with important co-morbidities such as anemia, insulin resistance or diabetes, autonomic dysregulation, and impaired renal function. Intestinal dysfunction with impaired motility and circulation and disturbed intestinal barrier and flora may lead to a chronic inflammatory state and nutrient malabsorption. In advanced cases, catabolic/anabolic imbalance is associated with cardiac cachexia, a difficult to treat condition which itself carries a poor prognosis. Furthermore, psychosocial symptoms associated with HF, including depression and impaired cognition, can contribute to poor self-care and lack of adherence to recommended dietary, physical activity, and medication regimens. Nutritional status concerns for patients with HF increase with disease severity. Salt restriction is now controversial and clinicians give little attention to diet as a potential intervention to improve outcomes. Proposed recommendations:

1.Determine the correct sodium threshold; ranges of sodium and fluid intake, and the safety for sub-groups including HFPEF, HFREF, and cardiorenal syndrome. 2.Generate new knowledge which identifies therapeutic targets and understand the role of the gut microbiome on gastrointestinal malabsorption, inflammation, and protein balance in HF.

3.Apply innovative study designs to reduce evidence gaps 4.Develop technologies to facilitate nutrition research and address weight and multiple risk factors should be addressed.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD

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